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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Gunman

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

A covert assassination plot comes back to haunt a sniper team of mercenaries years later as someone is trying to tie up loose ends. Sean Penn is one of hired gunmen trying to stay alive and to figure out who is behind this hit squad cover up. It's good old fashion bloody action and killing from Africa to Spain with a little romance and post traumatic concussion tossed into the mix. Big names draws, Javier Bardem and Indris Elba, have key roles but they disappointingly amount to mere bit parts. 

Alien gives it 3 "seeking redemption" stars out of 4.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Home (3D)

In order to hide from their enemy called the Gorg, an alien race known as the Boov takes over the Earth & relocates the humans . A misfit Boov called Oh teams up with a girl named Tip on a mission to find her mother and save the planet. This hilariously clever animated film is delightful fun for kids and adults as it exploits this alien fish out of water scenario. It is a heartwarming story with childhood whimsy about embracing your uniqueness, overcoming loneliness, not judging a book by its cover, and finding a sense of home/family.

Alien gives it 3 ½ "beware of the dreaded number 3" stars out of 4.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Get Hard

Millionaire businessman (Will Ferrell) is convicted of fraud & faces doing 10 years in San Quentin. Desperate to survive prison life, he hires his car wash guy (Kevin Hart) who he thinks has "street creds" & prison experience. Ferrell & Hart are pretty much as you expect from their previous performances. Whether you like it or not, Ferrell has pretty much perfected his complete idiot role applicable to any film & seems to always insist on invoking his full nudity clause. Hart reprises his fast talking con man act. If you can get past the "R" rated language & raunch, it has its moments and Alien found it a bit better than he expected. The film dares to exploit stereotypes for its humor.

Alien gives it 2 ½ "Mayo and Chock-o-lot" stars out of 4.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Divergent Series: Insurgent (3D)

It's "The Hunger Games" meets "Maze Runner" as Tris (Shailene Woodley) is the key to civil unrest amongst the factions of dystopian society in post-apocalyptic Chicago. The lines between reality and fantasy are blurred as Tris' nightmares continue to haunt her this sequel to "Divergent". Spectacular special effects will dazzle audiences in this action packed thriller. Kate Winslet is marvelous as the evil Erudite Jeanine who is hunting down Tris, Four (Theo James), and their fellow fugitives on the run. It is rebels seeking the truth versus the dictator seeking power in this mind bender. Who will be able to unlock the secret of the mystery box and what will be the fate of Tris' world as another chapter ends abruptly?

Alien gives it 3 ½ "facing your demons"stars out of 4.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Cinderella

Disney recreates its animated classic fairy tale with live action and Disney magic. Who doesn't know this popular & adored cartoon film by Walt & company. It is faithful to the 1950 animated fantasy musical with only minor variations and extensions. The sets and costumes are beautiful. Cate Blanchett is terrific as the evil stepmother. It is a wonderful and charming family film, although Alien still favors the original animated Disney version.  Stay through the credits if you want to hear that catchy bippity-boppity-boo tune from the original. A delightful short film, Frozen Fever, precedes the main attraction & features Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and Kristoff in an icy fun birthday celebration.

Alien gives it 3 "have courage and be kind" stars out of 4. 

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Unfinished Business

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

Vince Vaughn is a small time businessman trying to compete against the big companies (mainly his old firm and his former boss, played my Sienna Miller). His staff consists of a 67 year old (Tom Wilkinson) and a young kid (Dave Franco) with little experience. This team has been chasing a big job for over a year and must travel to Berlin in order to close the deal. It's funny but not hilarious and resorts to nudity and raunchy jokes for laughs. Vince needs a stronger comedic partner like Owen Wilson to sell this presentation.

Alien gives it "I don't want to be the fluffer" stars out of 4.

CHAPPiE

This is not a sneak preview. This film has already released.

It's "Robocop" meets "Short Circuit" when competing robotics engineers (Dev Patel & Hugh Jackman) sidestep proper channels to promote their pet projects. CHAPPiE is a new artificial intelligence experiment that falls into the hands the criminal element during its formative infancy days. This sci-fi flick is an coming of age story set amidst a fantasy action drama. Director Neil Blomkamp (District 9) gives it a South African flavor. Name draw Sigourney Weaver is under-utilized in the film. 

Alien gives it 3 "gangsta police scout robot" stars out of 4.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Run All Night

It's New York City after dark when a remorseful mob hit man, Jimmy "the Gravedigger" (Liam Neesom), must fight off his employer's henchmen & crooked cops to protect his estranged son (Joel Kinnaman). Mob boss, Shawn McQuire (Ed Harris), believes in "an eye for an eye" even when it comes to his good friend. Vincent D'Onofrio plays the relentless detective trying to nail Jimmy. This action packed thriller throws practically everything at you crammed into this unbelievable 16 hour period. It's not unpredictable but it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Adrenalin junkies, buckle up.

Alien gives it 3 ½ "when you cross that line" stars out of 4.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The old gang (Maggie Smith, Judy Dench, Bill Nighy, & others) are back for more quirky fun in India as Sonny (Dev Patel) prepares for his upcoming wedding and expanding his hotel dreams. Richard Gere is the perfect addition to this talented ensemble cast of characters, each with own funny tale interwoven into the storyline. If you are among the many that loved the first film, Alien doesn't think you'll be disappointed with this sequel that has all the same humor & charm as these individuals search to find love and fulfill their dreams. Embedded into this wonderful movie are interesting Indian sites, colorful people, unique culture, and an energetic Bollywood dance number.

Alien gives it 3 ½ "at any age, the adventure can begin" stars out of 4.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Lazarus Effect

It's "Flatliners" meets "Re-animator" meets "Lucy" when medical students run unauthorized experiments on doggie cadavers seeking to prolong lives of coma patients. Of course, when a freak accident occurs, the group is forced to use the Lazarus serum on one of their own. This supernatural horror flick is brought to you by the makers of "Paranormal Activities", "Insidious", & "Sinister". It's very genre predictable. Olivia Wilde is the big name draw. If you are a fan of the genre, you'll want to see it no matter if someone says it's good or bad. It's not particularly scary. Of course, it is sequel set upped but only box office numbers and DVD sales will determine if the film has a "Lazarus Effect" of its own. Odd note: Apparently, there are no cell phones in this fantasy world.

Alien gives it 2 "Don't f*ck with Mother Nature" stars out of 4.

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